37.7412° N, 25.6756° W

Material and facade panel design in collaboration with
the Regional Civil Engineering Laboratory Azores (LREC)
2019 - 2020
The biggest challenge in this project was to source, investigate and harmonise the local natural raw materials of magmatic origin in combination with regional recycled aggregates from construction waste with hydraulic properties in a material design that reflects the local characteristics of the Azores in its color and surface structure.

In studio experiments and together with our local partner LREC we tested recipes, that potentially be a viable alternative to Portland cement products and and on the other hand offer numerous possibilities for the further development of different consistencies into decorative and functional building materials such as plaster, mortar or solid materials such as facade panels.

The design work focuses on the development of architectural facade panels that sensitively fit in regional contexts on the Azores islands and furthermore could  bring a acorean regional appearance to other architectural contexts across Europe.

In addition to the environmental benefits of regional resources, we developed the architectural application as a modular system in which individual panels can be easily replaced.

The Azores are the first investigation site of the TERRA TALE project. If you are keen on insights in our research, raw materials, processing and ecological advantages you can here ...
"In 2008, the Regional Government of the Azores created the project Plataforma de Indústria Criativa dos Açores (PICA) [Azorean Platform for the Creative Industries]. The project’s aim was to support the technological intensification in the production of final goods, technologies and knowledge in the field of engineering, contributing with knowledge, differentiating means and processes well as product design and development.

In order to achieve this goal while making sure that the Azorean community is aware of the opportunities provided by the region’s resources, the Regional Secretariat of Transport and Public Works used the Regional Civil Engineering Laboratory (LREC), under the PICA project, to launch the “Use & Abuse” initiative, fostering the development of innovative ideas based on the sustainable use of the region’s endogenous resources. This initiative consists of four prizes, each based on a particular typology of Azorean resources: rocks, fibers, soil and wood. The initiative invites authors and creatives to submit ideas that can be materialized into industrial products and gives them the means to prototype their projects."
Laboratório Regional de Engenharia Civil
Francisco Fernandes


The locally sourced, mineral-based composite materials mainly contain specific recycled aggregates from construction waste with hydraulic properties, a small amount of local pozzolanic soils and ashes. Some material variations were designed with the addition of natural polymer obtained from food production waste.

The colours varied from reddish to yellowish mixed tones based on the raw materials used and additionally enhanced by adding locally available natural pigments.

Applying low energy processes and long curing periods allows to reduce CO2 emissions and at the same time to produce a very durable composite material, that continues to mature over time in the field.

pozzolanic soil

soils and ashes

highly porous texture

construction waste

recycled aggregates

composite studies on strengths


The archipelago landscape has been shaped by volcanic activity and is dominated by rich vegetation, extraordinary rock formations and the sea. Due to the magmatic origin, there is an abundance of pozzolanic soils on the island. We focused our investigation on these, as they are one of the most exploited geological resources in the area for the production of portland cement.

In particular we combined geometrically reduced reliefs and the use of natural colours, inspired from the landscape where the majesty and mystics of nature, the power and the strong presence of the volcanoes as well as the all over proximity to earth and soils are the all over protagonists.

Together with the green of vegetation, the most characteristic landscapes colours are the nuances of grey, black and red. The large variety of natural soils and the still high geological activity create amazing surface structures - stone textures from porous to smooth and almost polished.

The abstraction process behind the development of our material and facade panel concept has always referred to natural elements, informing the artifacts with site-specific identitary character.


Part of the results of our work during the project ENDOGENOUS ACORES were shown in a group exhibition at
The ARQUIPÉLAGO - Center for Contemporary Arts.

HOW TO BUILD AN ISLAND showed works by various designers who use local resources in their work
and reflect the cultural heritage of the Acores.

Copyright © 2022 Endogenous Lab.
All rights reserved.